Friday, November 02, 2007

The road to nowhere

As I'd feared, there are indeed, without a doubt, rats or squirrels in my attic or walls. It's very disconcerting to hear scrabbling and gnawing coming from your bedroom wall about two inches from head level. I no longer feel the least bit bad about shooting those horrible little rodents. I wish I could shoot them through the walls.


This district's starting salary for a new teacher with a BA and no experience: $42,000 and change. Not bad at all for a beginner; the typical 24-year-old woman just out of school can live well on such a salary, whether single or married, kidless, and sharing two salaries.

The salary for the same teacher with a BA and 14 years of experience: $46,000 and change. So, basically, no recompense at all for experience. And if that teacher now has kids and is looking down the road to retirement, it doesn't seem so much at all. That lack of salary growth says a lot about how little the administration values professionals who are in it for the long haul. No future, no incentives. And yet the teachers are supposed to attend all kinds of professional development classes throughout their careers.


I saw David Lynch's Eraserhead with Epalg. It was, without a doubt, one of the least enjoyable movie experiences I've ever had. Nothing but visceral stimulus. I don't care at all about things that don't bother to have an emotional or intellectual resonance. Hell, I'll settle for a spiritual vision. But a drawn-out nightmare on film? It just doesn't have any impact on me, except boredom. I was rolling my eyes throughout the film, when I wasn't dozing off (hey, it was a midnight show, and I had been up since 6:00 a.m.). I mean, I like to look at Salvador Dali's paintings, but not for an hour and a half. Or maybe I just go into a film with different expectations and value judgments for what's acceptable than I do painting. And with good reason, I'd say.

So the film I enjoyed the least of all time? Probably. The worst film? That's a different and more subjective question, of course. I suppose you have to ask what Lynch was getting at. Did he want to depict an extended nightmare? That is, his aim seemed to be a series of visuals unconnected by logic or linear storytelling, and a discordant score, meant to shock or revolt the viewer. If so, mission accomplished. But I was bored.


Churlita said...

I don't think I've seen it since it first came out. There's very little of it that I remember.

Michael5000 said...

Man, what a screwed-up salary scale....

It's pretty tough to explain Eraserhead's cult status. It's been 15 years, and I still regret the time I put into watching it.